Phillip Lisindi: Senior Finance Manager
Phillip Lisindi – Senior Finance Manager at Jwaneng Mine – strongly believes gender diversity translates into inclusion of gender, race and nationality, especially in the workplace.
“Debswana’s principle of Gender Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) is to ensure equal representation of women and men in the workplace so that the team can have positive effects across the organisation,” says the passionate Lisindi who was surprised at being nominated as an advocate for the diversity and inclusion campaign.
“Though I am surprised I am honoured and humbled at the nomination,” he declares.
He believes that diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do but should also be an obligation for all companies.
Asked about how important diversity is to him and what value he attaches to it, Lisindi says Gender Diversity and Inclusion is as important as any Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and recommends that all companies, especially in developing countries should also be measured on the achievement of diversity and inclusion.
“There is no question in my mind regarding the value diversity and inclusion can bring to an organisation,” he asserts. On what he did to ensure inclusion in his field of work, he concedes that he is fortunate that Debswana has embarked on a journey to address this in a more affirmative manner.
He highlighted that since 2017, the company took a decision to focus on this; which is a big and interesting deal in the mining environment. In playing his part Lisindi said “I ensure that all recruitment and succession plans within my control, are developed with Gender Diversity and Inclusion in mind,”.
While he is excited with the progress as a company, Lisindi realsies that certain stereotypes still hold such as ‘women are too emotional to hold high pressure positions’; ‘women can multitask better than men so they are best placed in environments where they can do more than one thing at a time’; ‘male are more dominant while women should be more submissive’; ‘women are more rigid than men and when they make up their minds they hardly ever change’ as well as the good old ‘men are bread winners by nature and women are best placed to run families as housewives.’ He also singles out fear, ignorance or naivety, as some of the behaviors that contribute to these stereotypes. He also includes culture and family upbringing as contributory factors to gender stereotypes.
Lisindi says, ensuring compliance through policy and ensuring performance against set improvement targets are but some of the measures that will assist in driving fair diversity and inclusion in the work place.
To him the International Women’s Day 2019 theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” means driving creative and innovative ways to advance and empower women in order to reduce poverty and inequality and ensure that woman participate fully in our social as well as economic environment. He said education and awareness are key in realising this year’s theme.
“We remain optimistic that our law makers to will ensure that deliberate steps are taken to protect the girl child. We need to ensure that women are brought to the forefront of the 4th industrial revolution,”
Though optimistic of the future, he feels that as a country we may be lagging behind in advancing women’s rights in almost all sectors.
“I would still like to see women support each other before they can expect men to support them. More often than not, women let each other down and expect campaigns and men to solve the Gender Diversity and Inclusion problem for them,” he notes regretfully.